Who Are Lewis Hamilton’s Parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier?
They say behind every successful man, there’s a woman. But more often than not, there’s more than just one person behind someone’s success. And in Formula 1, one name that stands above the rest, that’s become a household name around the world, would not be where he is had it not been for the army of people behind him—Lewis Hamilton. After joining the sport in 2007, the Briton has redefined F1 in more ways than one. But he couldn’t have made the extraordinary strides he has without the equally extraordinary pillars who raised him to be the person he is—his parents.
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No one can become truly successful without having to make a few sacrifices. And Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t have been the figure we know today without the sacrifices he and his parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier, made to fuel their son’s passion for the sport and support his dreams.
Who are the driving forces behind Lewis Hamilton’s success?
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If there’s one person you’re sure to spot in Hamilton’s garage every race weekend without fail, it’s his father, Anthony Hamilton. But as active as Anthony has been in his son’s F1 career, his mother, Carmen Larbalestier, has kept her distance. That’s not to say that she’s been absent; it’s just that she’s supported him from further away. But there’s a reason she isn’t a frequent visitor in the F1 paddock.
Two years after Lewis was born in 1985, Anthony and Carmen decided to go their separate ways. In an interview, she opened up about why the pair split, saying, “Tony [Anthony] wanted to be somebody, and he has achieved that. I wanted a quiet life, and that put a barrier between us. I couldn’t see myself in that busy, hectic lifestyle.” The F1 world is hectic, and Carmen just couldn’t see herself following Anthony and Lewis wherever they went to ensure Lewis achieved his dream of racing in F1.
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But that didn’t stop her from supporting her son. She revealed, “Lewis was the best thing to come out of my marriage. [After the split] I didn’t stop him making sure Lewis got what he wanted. Without his dad’s constant, constant work, he would not have been able to continue.” Anthony had to work multiple jobs when Lewis was young to keep his F1 dream alive. Needless to say, Lewis has an amicable relationship with both his parents. But that hasn’t always been the case, at least not with his father.
Lewis on his father, Anthony
— Sir Lewis Hamilton Updates (@SirLewisUpdates) June 19, 2022
From giving him his first remote-controlled car to gifting him his first go-kart, Anthony Hamilton fueled his son’s passion for F1. So since Lewis made it into the karting world, Anthony had been his manager, championing him from the sidelines. That was, until 2010 when Lewis ruthlessly sacked his dad from the role. Two weeks before the season started, he said, as quoted by The Sun, “Dad will miss being here, but it was me who initiated the break. He’s got other things to focus on, and I don’t want my dad being my manager anymore.” Despite the fallout, their relationship has gotten stronger since then, and in 2020, Lewis revealed, “My dad and I haven’t had the easiest of relationships. In the search for success, we were so immersed in the drive to succeed that we lost sight of what was most important, our relationship.”
Lewis and his parents have had their fair share of tough times throughout his life, but they have made it to the other side and are stronger because of it. After they split in 1987, Anthony and Carmen both remarried and now, Lewis has a half-brother from his father’s side and two half-sisters from his mother’s side.
The influence his two mothers had on Lewis Hamilton
Lewis was raised by Carmen until he was 12 but moved in with his father and stepmother Linda to continue chasing his motorsport dream. Anthony had already lived with Linda for two years when he moved in. In those two years, as per The Sun, she played an active role in helping Lewis wherever she could. And after he made it to the big leagues, she attended races with Anthony too. It’s safe to say she, too, played a vital role in helping Lewis in his career.
My brother has been with me every step of the way. Few people have believed in me more than Nicolas. I’m so grateful for the blessing he is in my life and so happy to share this moment with him. Our smiles 🤣 pic.twitter.com/r1eP4j8wVn
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) February 20, 2022
Watching Lewis achieve his dream inspired so many people, not just in the UK but around the world. But one person who looked up to him the most was Nicolas Hamilton, his half-brother. Born with cerebral palsy that affects movement and coordination, Nicolas didn’t let that hold him back and worked towards becoming a racer himself. Linda didn’t just give Lewis the opportunity to become the driver he is. She also gave him the chance to be a role model to the people closest to him.
Despite spending a large part of his younger life with his father and Linda, Lewis has never failed to express how much of an influence Carmen has had on his life, so much so that he changed his name to honor his mother. Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is now Lewis Carl Davidson Larbalestier Hamilton. While explaining why he decided to make the change, he said, “I don’t really fully understand the whole idea of why, when people get married, the woman loses her name. I really want her name to continue on with the Hamilton name.”
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Happy Mother’s Day to the women who have provided me with unconditional love, warmth and guidance my entire life. To all the mums out there doing their best raising your children, today is for you ❤️🙏🏾
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 31, 2019
Both Carmen and Linda share a good relationship too. One of Lewis’s sweetest moments with his mums was at the 2008 Chinese GP—just weeks before he won his first championship—when the three shared an emotional hug following Lewis’ victory in the race. While talking about his mums, he said, “I’ve always been very, very close to my parents, and both mums have always been absolutely incredible. Thanks to them, I’ve grown up with so much respect for women.”
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There’s no doubt Sir Lewis Hamilton has grown up to become a role model for generations to follow. He and the F1 community have his parents—all three of the strong figures he surrounds himself with—to thank for the influential racer and person he is today.
WATCH THIS STORY | Sir Lewis Hamilton Undergoes a Name Change in Mother’s Honor
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